Since May, part of Nigeria has been plagued by serious violence between farmers and herders. According to local authorities, the attacks left more than 300 people dead.
At least 80,000 people have been displaced over the past three months in central Nigeria, the scene of bloody inter-communal violence where the army has sent reinforcements, a local official said. Northwestern and central Nigeria are regularly the scene of tensions and deadly conflicts around the exploitation of land and water resources.
“There are around 80,000 displaced people in eleven camps” in Mangu, the epicenter of violence in the Plateau, said Markus Artus, a senior local official.
Nearly 18,000 of them are housed in a primary school serving as a makeshift camp in Mangu, added Markus Artus. One of the camp coordinators, Yamput Daniel, gave a similar estimate.
Nigerian Army Chief of Staff General Taoreed Lagbaja traveled to Mangu on Saturday to mark the start of special operations aimed at “eradicating” the crisis.
Thousands of people in camps
In the school, thousands of people sleep in classrooms, surviving on meager provisions and donations of maize from local churches.
“The crisis has made us homeless, our farmland has been destroyed and we have to manage to live in this primary school,” said Grace Emmanuel, 70, one of the displaced.
“It’s not easy, we don’t have enough to eat, we fetch water from the well, sometimes the water is not enough for thousands of us,” she added.
The army temporarily moved the headquarters of its “Safe Haven” regional military campaign to Mangu. Nearly 300 soldiers and armored vehicles were sent as reinforcements.
The chain of murders followed by reprisals and the absence of effective justice have favored the emergence in the region of broader criminality with gangs leading expeditions into villages, where they kill residents by the dozens and carry out kidnappings for ransom.
Source: BFM TV